Today, François-Henri Pinault, a French billionaire, and his family said that they will be donating €100 million (£86.3 million, $113 million) for the reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral, a historic landmark in Paris, France that was ravaged by a fire last Monday evening.
Soon after, Bernard Arnault, another French billionaire, and LVMH, his luxury goods group , pledged €200 million for the reconstruction.
Pinault is married to Salma Hayek, an actress. He stated: “my father [François Pinault] and I have decided to release as of now from the funds of Artemis a sum of 100 million euros to participate in the effort that will be necessary for the complete reconstruction of Notre Dame.”
Last Monday, a fire broke out at the Notre Dame Cathedral, damaging the landmark which has a 800-year history and has undergone expensive and extensive restorations and repairs.
François-Henri Pinault is considered as one of the richest people in Europe, thanks to the fashion empire of his family. He is currently the CEO and chairman of Kering, an international luxury group which owns the Gucci brand. He is also the president of Groupe Artémis, a French holding firm, which owns the fine arts auction house Christie’s. According to the Sunday Times Rich List, combined with the wealth of his wife, actress Salma Hayek, they are worth £5.126 billion ($6.71 billion).
According to Forbes, Bernard Arnault is worth more than $91.7 billion.
Meanwhile, late last Monday, Emmanuel Macron, the President of Frace, tweeted that “Notre Dame of Paris in flames. Emotion for a whole nation. Thoughts for all Catholics and for all French. Like all our countrymen, I’m sad tonight to see this part of us burn.”
He said that he plans to launch a national fundraising campaign that will help in rebuilding the historic cathedral.
According to Bloomberg, Total, a major French oil and gas firm, pledged another €100 million ($113 million) for the reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral. Capgemini, a Tech and consulting company, has also promised to donate €1 million ($1.1 million).